Death of Doug Parkinson: Renowned Australian Singer Honored As “Legendary Australian Recording Artist”

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Doug Parkinson, a staple of national music for more than five decades, once billed as “Australia’s greatest soul voice”, has passed away.

Doug Parkinson in September 1972. (Fairfax Media)

Publicist Lionel Midford announced the singer’s sad passing this evening.

“I have just received the saddest news from Doug Parkinson, the legendary Australian artist with a powerful and moving voice. He passed away suddenly at home,” Midford said in a statement on Monday evening.

“Doug Parkinson was widely regarded as one of the most unusual and influential singer-songwriters in contemporary music history.”

After forming Strings and Things with test cricketer Sid Barnes in 1966, Parkinson continued to explore psychedelic rock with The Questions the following year, touring nationally with The Who and Small Faces.

He formed Doug Parkinson in Focus shortly thereafter and had major success with his own take on the Beatles classic. dear Prudence in 1969, followed by his own hit Without you.

During a long and varied solo career, Parkinson played major roles on stage in the rock opera The Who. Tommy, the Wizard of Oz and Jesus Christ Superstar, recorded albums, including No regrets and Heartbeat to heartbeat and even taped commercials, radio station promotions and rugby league team songs.

Doug Parkinson during the rock opera “Tommy” at Randwick on April 1, 1973. (Martin James Brannan / Fairfax Media)

“During this extraordinary career, Doug has appeared alongside many international stars including The Who, The Small Faces, Paul Jones, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Pointer Sisters, Thelma Huston, Bob Marley and The Wailers, and Randy Crawford just to name a few, ”reads a biography on the Lionel Midford Publicity website.

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“He has appeared alongside and in a duo with so many beautiful Australian artists that the list is too long to appear here.”

Doug Parkinson in June 1983 (Fairfax Media)

Most recently he toured New South Wales with a tribute to English rock legend Joe Cocker in 2019, in which he was billed as “Australia’s greatest soul voice”.

Tributes began pouring in on Twitter shortly after the singer’s death was announced.

“Doug Parkinson was a talented and enduring performer in the Australian music scene,” said entertainment reporter Peter Ford, calling him a “singer-songwriter.”

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